We are supposed to visit the ruins of Nan Madol, but after a misunderstanding with the staff of our hotel, we meet too late to do this. Our young guide is friendly and thinks with us, and proposes to take us up towards Liduhduhniap falls as far as his sedan car can take us. From there, it is a pretty hike in the lush mountains with plenty of flowers and birds around, until we reach the house on the left where we pay our fee. A short walk on a lovely trail through flowers and ginger plants, takes us down to the lower Liduhduhniap falls, a gentle waterfall plunging into a small pool and running down a rocky stream. Looks are deceiving here, though: the valley is narrow and flash floods have claimed several lives here. We walk back up, and descend to the upper part of the falls, which is a low cascade, ending in a wide basalt pool. There is a ridge from which I find great views of the interior of Pohnpei with lush vegetation and spectacular mountains.
After our visit to Nan Madol the next day, we make a brief stop at Kepirohi falls - the most visited and photographed falls of the island. We have seen the image before - it is impossible not to see it. A short trail takes us to the shallow pool, and the wide falls are right in front of us. Water rushing down the basalt rock, resulting in a constant sound of rushing water; Kepirohi falls are the biggest of Pohnpei in terms of volume of water coming down. Our guide has taken bread, and we now see how many fish swim around in this pool. The longer we wait, the bigger the fish seem to become, until we see some really big eels scaring away the other fish and eating the bread. The last daylight is now leaving us, and we head back just in time before nightfall.
On our tour around the island, we plan on visiting several waterfalls as well apart from seeing other things. Turnoffs are not clearly signposted, and we end up asking police for directions. They end up driving ahead of us, until we reach a road towards the interior, which we drive up. After passing through several small villages on a scenic road, we end up at a house with loud music, and it turns out that we have missed the falls. The guy offers us to guide us to the six waterfalls, which sounds nice, but we know that we do not have the time for the long hike. We drive down, pay our entrance fee to the landowners, and soon arrive at a viewpoint where we see Sahwarlap falls in the middle of the forest to our left. The trail now becomes quite steep, and I continue alone to the bottom of the Sahwar valley. The going gets tough here: the trail is not visible anymore, and I arrive at a convergence of two streams. My logic tells me that the falls must be upstream, so I follow the left stream until I reach a waterfall - but this is not Sahwarlap: it turns out to be Sahwartik, meaning "shining faintly". I backtrack until I see some kind of trail to the left, which indeed takes me to the Sahwarlap stream, and ultimately, the Sahwarlap falls. Again, a tall waterfall, and I am lucky, as the sun just comes through, forming a small rainbow in the water. It has been raining, and I am wet, so I don't feel like a dip in the lovely pool. Going back downstream turns out to be a challenge at times, wading through the water waist-deep, until I reach the convergence again, from where I take the trail back up to the road. The next waterfall we want to visit turns out to be less easily reached, and we decide to skip it in favour of other things to see. Plenty of waterfalls left to see - plenty of reasons to come back to Pohnpei one day!
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Pohnpei waterfalls (Federated States of Micronesia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Pohnpei waterfalls.
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